Macro and Micro-Level Explainations of Racial Differences in Personal Victimization

Yan Zhang, Michigan State University
Merry Morash, Michigan State University
Hoan N. Bui, University of Tennessee

Serious violent victimization rates have been higher for minority groups especially for blacks and Native Americans in comparison to whites, at least since the 1950s. For the past two decades, research examining the patterns and differences of victimization across demographic groups has been focused on variations of routine activity and lifestyle with emphases on microlevel factors such as target attractiveness, exposure to risk environments and guardianship. The macrolevel factors reflecting ecological contexts, in which different demographic groups reside, have long been overlooked. Following Sampson and Wilson's structural and cultural analysis on macrolevel relationships between race and crime, this study examines the relative contributions of community level phenomenon to the risk of the personal victimization through violent crime. Multilevel analysis of NCVS data at individual level and community level is employed in this study.

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Updated 05/20/2006